The best laid plans of mice and man

Just to show that not all are dramas are caused by our personnel or the people that live around us here is a summary of the disasters that have befallen us over the last few days.

  • On Thursday afternoon it became clear that nobody in the Brisbane office that is supposed to coordinate all projects had realised that if one job runs late and the other starts early you will end up having to accommodate a great more people in your camps then previously planned. Needles to say there is no room in the inn for all the new starters so on my insistence a call was placed to the project manager who was most indignant that I queried him on his lack of planning. Funnily enough in another call later that evening he agreed to an emergency mobilisation of extra resources in an attempt to build a 160 men camp by the end of January. As our camp at 5/7 has been three months in the making and is still not finished I would say fat change.

  • Also on Thursday. We were supposed to use the Chinook to lift five loads of approximately seven to eight tons each from Moro to South East Mananda. The first three loads went fine but then the weather closed in. I can understand that no one wants to fly in the mountains with a heavy load dangling two hundred feet under the helicopter when you can’t see where you are going so the operation closed down with half an excavator sitting on the airstrip and the other half in the middle of the jungle. A few hours later the weather cleared enough to have another attempt.  The chopper went up the load was hooked on and then the governor on the engine failed and over speeded. They were pretty lucky that the load was still on the ground and they managed to land safely. As it was the mechanics spent most of the night working on it, Friday morning we had glorious weather, the Chinook work perfectly and we lifted our last two loads in. I slept pretty badly that night though.

  • Friday afternoon four o’clock my computer dies as do the office lights and all things electrical in general. The generator has shutdown for reasons unknown. No panic it’s happened before and it only took ten minutes to get it going again. Six O’clock it’s hot muggy the sun is going down and the genset still ain’t working. Spoke to the cooks who tell me they were planning for steak tonight so once the power is up they can have meals on in fifteen minutes. Six thirty John is trying to get the services department on the ridge to assist us if we can’t restore power. I am helping to carry water to the kitchen and we are putting buckets with water in the ablution blocks so people can wash their hands. Seven o’clock our cooks have managed to use the one gas stove we have to pan fry the steaks and everybody shovels in one by one to get their meal. Our cooks are doing a fantastic job under the circumstances. I retire to my room and try to get to sleep, not much else to do really. Eight thirty congratulations to the mechanics the genset is up and running again.

I wonder what is going to happen today.

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